Statement on the 2006 National Security Strategy

Susan E. Rice
Susan E. Rice Former Brookings Expert, Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow - School of International Service, American University

March 16, 2006

The National Security Strategy is notable for its belated recognition of the important opportunities and challenges posed by globalization and its appropriate insistence on the need for multi-faceted, sustained U.S. leadership of the world.

Yet the 2006 strategy eerily echoes its 2002 predecessor by reaffirming the discredited doctrine of pre-emption, while shifting the presumed target of that doctrine from Iraq to Iran. This shift is ironic, since the Administration’s all-encompassing, four-year preoccupation with Iraq afforded Iran the time and space to pursue its nuclear ambitions and undermine U.S. security interests in the Middle East.

Another glaring contradiction in the new strategy is the statement that “genocide must not be tolerated,” while at the same time it fails to name the government of Sudan as the perpetrator of the genocide in Darfur—or to include Sudan on the list of tyrannical, abusive governments. Worse still, the Administration’s strategy is silent on whether and how the U.S. will finally act effectively to end the three year long genocide in Darfur.

The strategy is also striking for its omissions, notably its failure to devote sufficient urgency or attention to the grave dangers posed by North Korea, whose nuclear arsenal has grown an estimated four-fold since the last strategy was released. And the NSS totally ignores the serious long term threat to the U.S. and the world resulting from global warming.